Pietrus: Always intended to come to Boston

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Pietrus: Always intended to come to Boston

BOSTON If it seemed as if Mickael Pietrus became a Boston Celtic almost immediately after he was waived, well there's a reason.

The 6-foot-6 wing had already made his mind up before the Phoenix Suns bought him out last week, that he wanted to don the Green and White this season.

Once he cleared waivers, it became a matter of when, not if, he would be taking his talents to Causeway Street.

"I'm not going to lie to you," Pietrus said prior to Boston's blowout win over the Detroit Pistons. "Before I knew I would be waived, I already picked my team."

And that team was the Boston Celtics.

His reasoning was simple.

The Celtics are a team that has been among the more consistent squads in terms of competing for an NBA title, something he admits weighs heavily on his mind these days.

Well aware that they don't have an athletic wing of his caliber, there was a clear need on this roster for a player with his skills.

And it didn't hurt that the head coach is Doc Rivers, someone Pietrus said he "always wanted to play for, someday."

"I watched him on TV, old games when he played, and I watch his teams in Boston," Pietrus told CSNNE.com. "He played hard, and so do his teams. That's the kind of team I want to play for."

But before you get too excited about "Air France" bringing his game to the TD Garden floor, first he must recover from a knee injury that will likely keep him out for another couple weeks.

"I am going to listen to my body," he said. "Around here, you play to be healthy in June. That's why they got 17 banners."

Al Horford recalls offseason flirtation with Rockets

Al Horford recalls offseason flirtation with Rockets

Al Horford was destined to play in tonight’s game between Boston and Houston.
 
But for which team?
 
That was the question the four-time All-Star pondered this summer when he narrowed his list of suitors outside of Atlanta to Boston, Houston and Washington, in that order.
 
“I really considered coming here,” Horford told reporters on Monday. “But them and Boston and Washington. (Houston) and Boston were probably the two teams I was really, really looking at. Just a lot to consider.”

When you look at how seamless Horford has fit in with the Celtics and how well the Rockets (13-7) have played this season, you get the feeling that Horford would have found success individually and for whichever team he chose.
 
“At the end of the day, I just felt I was better off being here in Boston,” Horford said.
 
Rockets All-Star James Harden was among the party Houston sent to try and woo Horford to the Rockets.

“I thought we had a chance,” Harden said. “I thought we had a real good chance, but obviously it didn’t work out. Which is fine.”
 
Indeed, the Rockets have been one of the surprise teams of the NBA this season in large part to Harden moving to the point guard position full-time.
 
Not only is he once again ranked among the NBA’s top scorers at 28.3 points which ranks fourth in the NBA, but he’s also dishing out a league-high 11.8 assists per game.
 
“They made it pretty clear in the offseason that he was going to be the point guard,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters. “He’s got the ball all the time. He had the ball a lot before, but certainly now with their spacing and his ability to make the play himself or the right read to the big rolling or to the many good shooters around, it’s a perfect setup for him and his skillset.”
 
The ability to draw defenders and create space for those around him is one of the many reasons why the Rockets felt Horford would have been an ideal fit for their system.
 
But the same argument can be made for the Celtics who unlike the Rockets, at least attempt to play defense at a high level.
 
Boston began the season ranked among the worst defenses in the NBA, but are currently up to 18th with a defensive rating of 105.0. Meanwhile, the Rockets’ defense ranks 27th in the league with a 107.2 defensive rating.